Why You Should Never, Ever Put Two Spaces After A Period

After years of school and endless typing classes (do they even teach that anymore LOL), I had no idea that there was even a thing with the one space vs two space. 

In the middle of the last century, a now-outmoded technology—the manual typewriter—invaded the American workplace.  To accommodate that machine's shortcomings, everyone began to type wrong.  And even though we no longer use typewriters, we all still type like we do. 

The problem with typewriters was that they used monospaced type — that is, every character occupied an equal amount of horizontal space.  This bucked a long tradition of proportional typesetting, in which skinny characters (like I or 1) were given less space than fat ones (like W or M).  Monospaced type gives you text that looks "loose" and uneven; there's a lot of white space between characters and words, so it's more difficult to spot the spaces between sentences immediately.  Hence the adoption of the two-space rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. 

Here's the thing, though: Monospaced fonts went out in the 1970s. 

Photo Getty


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